ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Awarded Grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for the Development of Novel ER-beta Agonists for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)– ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:ACAD), a biopharmaceutical company utilizing innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders, today announced that it has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for the development of novel estrogen receptor beta (ER-beta) agonists for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The grant of up to $830,000 was awarded under the Foundation’s Therapeutics Development Initiative aimed at supporting preclinical development of Parkinson’s disease therapies that have the potential for fundamentally altering disease course and improving treatment of symptoms above and beyond current standards of care.
“The award by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research provides important recognition for ACADIA’s ER-beta program for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and further validates the quality and productivity of our drug discovery capabilities,” said Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA. “We remain deeply committed to the advancement of care in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In addition to our ER-beta program, we continue to advance our Phase III program with pimavanserin for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease psychosis.”
“Our staff and reviewers are excited about the potential of ACADIA’s ER-beta program to yield a new therapy that could better treat patients’ symptoms and potentially affect disease progression,” said Katie Hood, Chief Executive Officer of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. “We are committed to use our capital to keep industry pre-clinical work such as this moving forward in order to speed it toward clinical testing and pharmacy shelves.”
Studies have shown that estrogen modulates many cerebral functions such as mental state, mood, cognition, and locomotion, and may slow down the development and progression of Parkinson’s disease. Estrogen stimulates both ER-alpha and ER-beta receptors. ACADIA researchers have identified novel and selective ER-beta agonists that may address the motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. ACADIA researchers will examine the efficacy of ER-beta agonists in preclinical models, focusing on neuroprotection, motor performance, cognition and sensorimotor gating. New approaches like ER-beta may pave the way for a novel treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by a number of symptoms including tremors, limb stiffness, slowness of movements, and difficulties with posture and balance. It is estimated that over 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from the disease. Parkinson’s disease is more prevalent in people over 60 years of age, and the incidence of the disease is expected to increase as the average age of the population increases.
About ACADIA Pharmaceuticals
ACADIA is a biopharmaceutical company utilizing innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders. ACADIA is focused on developing a portfolio of its four most advanced product candidates, including pimavanserin in Phase III for Parkinson’s disease psychosis, a product candidate in Phase II for chronic pain and a product candidate in Phase I for glaucoma, both in collaboration with Allergan, and ACP-106 in IND-track development. All of the product candidates in ACADIA’s pipeline emanate from discoveries made using its proprietary drug discovery platform. ACADIA maintains a website at www.acadia-pharm.com to which ACADIA regularly posts copies of its press releases as well as additional information and through which interested parties can subscribe to receive email alerts.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation
Founded in 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson’s disease within the coming decade through an aggressively funded research agenda. The foundation has funded over $130 million in research to date.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to statements related to the progress and timing of ACADIA’s drug discovery and development programs, including clinical trials and the results therefrom, and the benefits to be derived from ACADIA’s product candidates, in each case including pimavanserin and ER-beta compounds, as well as any projected increase in the incidence of Parkinson’s disease as the average age of the population increases. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks and uncertainties inherent in drug discovery, development and commercialization, and collaborations with others, and the fact that past results of clinical trials may not be indicative of further trial results. For a discussion of these and other factors, please refer to ACADIA’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 as well as other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and ACADIA undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.